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PG&E hosts first-ever Innovation Pitch Fest to solicit new technologies for burying power lines

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ByLeslie Brinkley

Wednesday September 13, 2023 12:54 a.m.

PG&E Holds Pitch Fest to Solicit New Technologies to Bury Power Lines

SAN RAMON, Calif. (KGO) — PG&E is researching new technology this week that could speed up the process of burying power lines underground. Their first-ever Innovation Pitch Fest in San Ramon even included a company featured on Shark Tank.

There are 25,000 miles of overhead power lines in Northern California. PG&E wants to bury 10,000 miles of them over the next decade with a focus on fire-risk areas. But it’s a notoriously slow and expensive process, so PG&E heard presentations Tuesday from nine companies proposing inventions that could speed up the process.

This is the public service’s first Innovation Pitch Fest, following a summer innovation summit. Six hundred contenders were narrowed down to this week’s 54 finalists.

MORE: PG&E and Elon Musk consider ways to meet growing electricity needs

PG&E said the big benefit of having lines underground is to make the system more reliable, so there is less chance of weather-related events and outages.

PG&E hopes to bury 350 miles of cable by the end of this year. Right now they are digging in San Mateo, Woodside and Concord along Kirker Pass Road.

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